The News Matrix: Thursday 1 September 2011

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Clegg fuels dispute over bank reform

Nick Clegg warned bankers they would never again be able to “point a gun” at the economy as he fuelled a dispute inside the Coalition over bank reform. He said the banks would not be able to derail plans to force them to ring-fence their high-street and riskier investment operations. MORE

Top firms pay more to bosses than in tax

A new study into the accounting machinations of corporate America has revealed that 25 of the country’s largest companies – including Boeing, eBay and Verizon – last year paid more to their chief executive officers in compensation than they paid Uncle Sam in taxes. MORE

Killed Marine had just become a father

The Royal Marine killed by a roadside bomb in Helmand had just become a father for the third time. The family of Sergeant Barry Weston, 40, of 42 Commando, said they were “devastated” by his death.

Claims for screening are ‘dishonest’

Plans to expand the breast screening programme have been called into question amid claims women are being misled about the benefits. Claims that screening reduces deaths by a third are dishonest, according to research published in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine. MORE

Obama declares disaster in New York

President Barack Obama yesterday declared a major disaster in New York, freeing up federal recovery funds after Hurricane Irene destroyed hundreds of homes. Across the Eastern Seaboard an estimated two million people are still without power.

Gaddafi’s son in talks to surrender

Muammar Gaddafi’s third-eldest son, Saadi, is trying to negotiate the terms of his own surrender, a rebel commander in Tripoli said yesterday. If this is true, it would be a major blow to the former Libyan leader’s crumbling regime. Abdel Hakim Belhadj said Saadi first called him on Tuesday and asked whether his safety could be guaranteed.

Amnesty reports on civilian deaths

Human rights group Amnesty International has said it believes at least 88 people, including children as young as 13, have died in detention in Syria during five months of anti-government protests. Amnesty added that it had also heard accounts of horrific torture. MORE

Undeclared cash claims ‘made up’

President Nicolas Sarkozy’s office has denied claims in a new book that he took undeclared campaign cash from Liliane Bettencourt, the heiress to the L’Oreal cosmetics fortune. His allies suggested the accusations are a campaign ploy against him. MORE

Travellers fail to stop mass eviction

Residents of the UK ’s largest traveller site, Dale Farm in Essex, braced for mass eviction last night after failing a last-ditch attempt at the High Court to save their homes. Lawyers acting on behalf of the community failed to win a temporary injunction.

Whale tooth pulled by thief in a black hat

A man dressed in a black leather hat and a dark coat yesterday ran off with an 8ft whale’s tooth from a museum in the Norwegian city of Stavanger. Museum official Atle Fiskaa said the tooth was more than 100 years old and worth around £5,700. Police are now trying track down the culprit.

HP resurrects its struggling iPad rival

Hewlett Packard has performed a U-turn after initially deciding to discontinue its TouchPad. The launch of the rival to Apple’s iPad two months ago was met with dismal sales. After retailers started selling the remaining tablets at $99 its fortunes have quickly turned around. MORE

Deley dropped as athletics live anchor

Television presenter Ortis Deley has been sidelined by Channel 4 bosses after a gaffe-strewn stint fronting live coverage of the IAAF World Championships in South Korea. Deley, a children’s presenter, has now been replaced as the main anchor by Rick Edwards, the presenter of E4’s Tool Academy.

Mamma’s dishes lose out to McDonald’s

Italy might be famed for its healthy Mediterranean diet, but alarming new figures show that the country has a higher proportion of overweight children than anywhere else in Europe, as traditional, home-made meals and snacks are losing out to low-cost calorie-packed fast food such as McDonald’s and its ilk. MORE

Tomatina fighters paint the town red

Tens of thousands of people have pelted each other with 120 tons of ripe tomatoes in an annual battle in the eastern Spanish town of Buñol. The street fight – known as the Tomatina – has its roots in a food fight between childhood friends back in 1945, and tourists flock to take part in the hour-long celebration.